Molds are microscopic fungi that thrive on moist or damp areas to grow. This includes fungi such as mushrooms and yeasts. When present in clothing, it is often times referred to as mildew. They are part of the natural environment: spoiled food contains molds, decaying leaves rot because of them and wet fabrics left in a damp place develop musty odors due to the presence of these fungi.
They are useful to people in many ways. For instance, the penicillin drug is derived from a specific mold type. Various types of mold are used to produce various chesses, alcohols, and chemicals used in different industries. However, extensive mold growth, especially inside a building, can be harmful to people.
Household molds can damage furniture and clothing. It is important to recognize the presence of molds at home early on to avoid developing allergic reactions to these microscopic fungi.